The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation on Saturdaydisagreed with the clean bill of health given to General Muhammadu Buhari by former President Olusegun Obasanjo over the N25 billion fraud that took place during the administration of the Petroleum Trust Fund by Buhari as Executive Chairman.
The Campaign Organisation, in a statement in which it subtly queried the health status of General Buhari, said by saying there was nothing amiss in the financial transactions in the PTF, Obasanjo was only trying to cover up the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress.
The statement, issued by the Director of Media and Publicity of the campaign, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, reads: “We believe that one of the cardinal principles of democracy, good governance and decency is to always set the record straight and let the Nigerian people know the truth.
“This has been the hallmark of President Goodluck Jonathan and his government for the last four years and we intend to ensure that this continues.
“We do not believe that anything ought to be hidden and we believe that in the contest for the Presidency the record of public office of each and every one of the presidential candidates is relevant and must be subjected to scrutiny and public debate.
“It is to this end that we make reference to the findings of the Dr Haroun Adamu-led Interim Management Committee probe of Petroleum Trust Fund where General Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the APC, presided as executive Chairman for a number of years while General Sani Abacha was in power.
“The final report of that probe exposed nothing but monumental sleaze and the most pervasive and insidious type of corruption in PTF while General Buhari held sway there. “The report concluded its findings by recommending that the PTF under General Buhari and his entire team be asked to explain the circumstances in which N25,758,532,448:00 disappeared and could not be accounted for.
“As the chief executive officer of PTF at the time Buhari, and no one else, must be held responsible for this.
“The fact that the recommendation of the Dr Haroun Adamu-led Interim Management Committee was never acted upon by the Olusegun Obasanjo government is rather curious and gives us some cause for concern.
“This is especially so given the fact that the same General Buhari that was so badly indicted by the report is now vying for the exalted office of President of Nigeria.
“This is made all the more worrisome given the fact that the Army General has consistently held himself out as Mr. Integrity while he consistently accuses President Goodluck Jonathan of monumental corruption.
“The truth is that not only has the PTF report put a lie to the suggestion that General Buhari is “Mr. Clean” but it has also indicated that he has a case to answer.
“Worse still, one of the directors of Afri-Project Consortium, who were contracted by the PTF as Management Consultants and Project Consultants, a man by the name of Ahmad Salihijo and the one person that could have nailed Buhari and that was in a position to indict him and tell the world all that he knew about the graft that took place at PTF, died under very mysterious circumstances shortly after the Dr Haroun Adamu report was submitted to the Federal Government when Obasanjo was in power.
“Many people are asking whether this was a mere coincidence or whether there was more to it.
“Finally, it is curious that former President Olusegun Obasanjo, an elder statesman that we hold in the highest esteem and under whose watch the Haroun Adamu probe of the PTF was conceived, commissioned and concluded, would come out and attempt to clear Buhari of all the charges made and issues raised in the report and give him a clean bill of health almost fourteen years later.
“The Adamu report not only conflicts with Obasanjo’s new-found position but it also proves that the position taken by the former president has no basis in reality.
“Not only did the report indict Buhari and his entire team but it also made specific recommendations as to the amount of money recoverable, to wit: amount recoverable from Afri-Project Consortium is N2,057,550,062:00; amount recoverable from contractors is N3,543,192,774:00; amount recoverable from expiry of drugs is N2,414,807,332:00; and amount recoverable from various banks is N3,642,982,280:00, bringing the total of amount recoverable where verification reports have been finalised to N11,658,532,448:00.
“Total estimated amount of N14,100,000,000:00 recoverable is broken down as follows: Highway and Urban Roads Rehabilitation Programme is N10,000,000,000:00; Rural Water Supply Programme is N1,000,000,000:00; National Health and Educational Institutions Rehabilitation Programme is N600,000,000:00; National Educational Materials Programmes is N900,000,000:00; and Rural Telecommunication Programmes is N1,600,000,000:00.
“Most importantly fourteen years ago, when the report was submitted in April 2000, former President Obasanjo endorsed the report and believed very much in it.
“One wonders what has suddenly changed? When we consider former President Obasanjo’s new found position about Buhari’s activities at PTF, we can only conclude that he was simply attempting to be generous, charitable and kind to Buhari.
“Sadly, he was also attempting to cover up the fact that Buhari has a case to answer when it comes to PTF.
“We believe that no one, no matter how highly-placed, must ever attempt to sweep the truth under the carpet.
“Every single former and serving public officer, including General Buhari, must be ready to account for his or her actions while in office and any attempt to hide the truth from the people will surely fail.
“Finally, it is pertinent and important for us to urge General Buhari to make full disclosure about a number of issues, whether it has to do with his record at the PTF, his educational qualifications, his school certificates or his health. “It is time for General Buhari to tell the Nigerian people the truth, no matter how ugly that truth may be. Our people have a right to know.”